Property Easement Agreements


When you willingly grant someone access to your property in the beautiful state of Idaho, it’s more than just a friendly gesture; it’s an easement, a powerful legal concept with specific rules and implications. Here, we delve deep into Idaho’s unique landscape to shed light on the intricacies of easements, providing you with the essential information you need.

Understanding Easements in Idaho

An easement is the right to use a specific portion of another person’s property for a designated purpose. In Idaho, as in other states, the landowner retains land ownership but allows limited access or use to another party—the easement holder.

Why Written Easement Agreements Matter in Idaho

If you’re in Idaho and considering an easement arrangement, remember this crucial tip: always opt for a written agreement instead of an implied, unwritten one. Why? Because written agreements can be officially recorded in property records and title insurance policies, ensuring clarity and legality. To navigate this complex terrain, it’s advisable to seek the counsel of a seasoned real estate lawyer who can draft the easement and handle all necessary legal descriptions.

Servient Estate vs. Dominant Estate

In Idaho easements, two key terms take center stage: servient estate and dominant estate.

  1. Servient Estate: This refers to the land burdened by the easement. This property grants access or usage rights to the easement holder.
  2. Dominant Estate: On the flip side, the dominant estate is the land that benefits from the easement. The property gains value or utility from the access rights provided by the servient estate.

For instance, picture a scenario where one property is landlocked, and the only way to access the highway is through an easement pathway. In this case, the landlocked property assumes the role of the dominant estate. In contrast, the property adjacent to the highway becomes the servient estate. Drafting an easement agreement in this scenario would enhance the value of the dominant estate while potentially reducing the value of the servient estate.

Types of Easements in Idaho

Easements in Idaho serve many purposes and cater to various property owners, including private individuals, government entities, and public utilities. These diverse needs have given rise to different types of easements:

  • Express Easements: Clearly defined and explicitly stated in written agreements.
  • Reservation Easements: Reserved by a property owner when selling land.
  • Affirmative Easements: Grant specific rights to the easement holder, such as the right to access a driveway.
  • Negative Easements: Restrict landowners from actions like blocking a neighbor’s view.
  • Utility Easements: Allow utility companies access for maintenance and installations.
  • Public Easements: Used for public access, like roadways or pathways.
  • Easements by Necessity: Arise from landlocked properties, ensuring access.
  • Prescriptive Easements: Acquired through consistent, unauthorized use over time.
  • Easements by Estoppel: Established based on the actions or behavior of property owners.

How to Obtain an Easement in Idaho

If you’re considering securing an easement in the Gem State, you have four avenues to explore:

  1. Purchase: Buying the land and securing an agreement with the seller duly recorded in the county of jurisdiction.
  2. Eminent Domain: Initiating legal proceedings to acquire property or easement rights for public benefit.
  3. Prescriptive Use: Occupying and using the land without permission over an extended period to acquire an easement.
  4. Implied Easement: Inferring the existence of an easement, even without a written record, when essential for avoiding landlocked properties.

Our Real Estate Lawyers Are Here to Assist You

Navigating the complexities of property easements in Idaho demands legal expertise. Our seasoned real estate lawyers not only craft property easement agreements but can also facilitate terminations if needed. We safeguard your interests and prevent future disputes with other parties by ensuring precise legal descriptions and clearly defined expectations.

In the scenic landscapes of Idaho, understanding and managing easements can make all the difference in property ownership and usage. Trust our legal experts to guide you through this intricate process.